Saturday, February 5, 2011

Homemade Valentine's Day Part 1

CHOCOLATE. Isn't that what Valentine's Day is all about? Well, it is to me! How about giving the one you love HOMEMADE chocolates this year....? What, too hard? No time to make them? Not anymore! Homemade, wonderful chocolate truffles are easy, I promise! All you need is a little time, some passion for chocolate, and some love for your Valentine...

To start the chocolate truffles, you will need to purchase some GOOD chocolate. I'm not talking about buying a few cheap Milk Chocolate Hershey bars and melting them.......I mean truffle worthy chocolate. Now, I am blessed to live literally within a few miles of the famous King Arthur Flour store and bakery (believe me, I take full advantage of that!), and they sell GOOD chocolate. I am particularly fond of their Burgundy Chunks because I love their deep chocolate flavor, but you can use whatever GOOD chocolate you can find near you.

The first step is to heat 1 cup of heavy cream. I choose to do this in the microwave because it's faster. Heat the cream to boiling, but watch it because it will easily boil over. Then immediately pour cream over 2 cups of chopped chocolate in a separate bowl. Whisk quickly so the hot cream will melt the chocolate.
Once chocolate and cream are thoroughly mixed and resemble dark, pure chocolate bliss (called ganache), pour into a 9x9 round cake pan or equivalent sized or larger baking dish. Place immediately in the refrigerator and let chill for at least a couple of hours.

You'll know the ganache is ready because it will be "scoopable". A good way to test is to scoop a small amount into your hand and then see how fast it melts. If it melts almost instantly, then the ganache is NOT ready, but if it holds it's shape, even after being rolled around in your palm over a few seconds, then it's ready. If you find your ganache is still too soft, place it back in the fridge and let chill for another half hour or so. Sometimes, I will put mine in the freezer for 15 minutes before I use it to make sure it is ready.

Once the ganache is ready, it's time to begin! I like to make all the truffle balls first. I scoop out about a teaspoon or so of ganache and QUICKLY roll it around in my hands to form a ball. Don't worry if it's not perfectly round! Then I gently place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. I repeat this until all the ganache is used. Then I place the ganache balls back into the refrigerator for about a half hour to chill and firm up again. (The ganache balls in the picture below are a little larger then I normally make. I made the bigger ones special for Valentine's Day)

When you are done, your hands should look something like this.....yummmm :)

After chilling, it's time to coat these little balls of pure heaven with melted chocolate. You can use good chocolate for this step as well, but I really like using Wilton's Dark Cocoa Candy Melts. They are not fancy, or the best chocolate, but give consistently great results. I prefer to spend my money on the truffle filling chocolate instead, that's the best part!

Now, the way I learned to cover the truffles in melted chocolate is a little different, but is a way used by many people. I first put on some latex free gloves. Then I melt the chocolate (I prefer the microwave). Then I dip my gloved hands (about half way) into the melted chocolate, covering my fingers with chocolate. Then I quickly and carefully pick up a ganache ball and roll it between my hands, covering the ball with melted chocolate. Then I place the truffle onto a different parchment lined baking sheet to set. Continue to do this until all the truffles have been covered in chocolate. Place the pan back in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes or so to make sure chocolate coating is set.

(There are lots of other coatings you can use instead of the chocolate if you wish. Some include: cocoa powder, sprinkles, finely chopped nuts, and coconut. If using these toppings instead, just roll in desired topping directly after making the ganache balls)

To decorate the hardened chocolate coating, I like to use more melted candy melts to adhere my toppings or just create a pretty design. You don't have to do this, but the results are so pretty and give your truffles a unique and personalized look. Store the truffles in the refrigerator until ready to gift, for up to one month, as long as they are kept cold. YUM!

Next: A special homemade Valentine gift for a special person!


  1. wow, those are impressive! I have never made them, but I am sure my hubby would love them. Great job.

  2. Thanks, Andrea :) I have been making these for a couple of years now. They are pretty easy and sooo yummy. I made these for Christmas this past year (only smaller).